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WWE/TNA 2012 Retrospective: Top 50 Matches

Punk-Bryan

While there were not a great number of storylines this last year that can be said to live on through the ages, WWE and TNA generally had successful 2012 years. That is because of one thing more than any other: match quality.

Throughout the year, the pay-per-views put out by both companies were not stellar in build, but they were great in execution. The talent consistently managed to take what little they were sometimes given and capitalized on it beyond expectations.

From old veterans fighting in dream matches to young indie stars getting their chance in the sun, it was a year of wrestling more than anything else.

That is why I have decided to take a full inventory of 2012’s greatest matches for both WWE and TNA. All year, I kept a list that I expanded throughout where I ranked every match I felt was worthy of consideration for this top 50. In the end, I went back and watched them all and made my final decision.

At the end of the day, this is my opinion alone combined with my own criteria that involves impact, technical ability, story build in and before the match, and other minor factors.

I am sure that others will have different opinions and different orders on my choices, so please, after reading, leave your thoughts and own favorite matches below.

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Overview

About Kevin Berge

Wrestle Enigma's voted Writer Of The Year two years running. I am writing to prove a point. The day I stop writing is the day I realize I have nothing more to say, and I don't believe that day will ever come.
  • http://twitter.com/ARobEnigma Austin Robinson

    Great job, Berge. Absolutely loved every second of the article. Like Jacob said, you could tell that you worked hard on it.

    I know I am grossly outnumbered, but I am still on the bandwagon that Punk vs Bryan at OTL is match of the year. Everyone’s opinion is different, though. I don’t even put Triple H vs Taker at 2, rather at 4. Behind Styles vs Daniels at Final Resolution (#3), and Ryback, Bryan, and Kane vs Shield at TLC (#2).

    Either way, it was a great list, and I enjoyed every second of it.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thanks, I’m surprised to see you rate the Styles/Daniels FR match so high, but I can understand you feelings on the matches.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Great list, Kevin. Very precise rankings and ratings. You worked really hard on this, I can tell.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thank you, I appreciate that.

  • JacobStachowiak

    It’s not secret that Styles vs. Daniels is my favorite match of the year. I loved every bit of it. I loved Daniels’ intereaction with the crowd. I love the steel steps set up. I loved Kazarian’s interference. I loved the fact that both men shed blood and used it well for the story. Of course, I loved the great spot ending. It was just….damn fucking good and made me proud to be a wrestling fan. It’s one of my favorite matches I’ve ever seen.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Truly a beautiful match by those two, bloody, personal, and physical throughout. Hard for anything to challenge it even when we’ve seen Styles/Daniels so many times. They just always deliver.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Fuck #3 with a fucking stick. You want my opinion on it “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” there you go.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Wow, I’m surprised. I think your response here was rather tame in comparison to what I expected.

      • JacobStachowiak

        I just figured I’d save it for any future Bryan vs. Punk snoozefests I will have to rant on in 2013.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Storm vs. Roode at BFG was….unbelievable. I love that kind of wrestling.I also thought, like you theorized, King Mo did just a fine job. Glad he didn’t overshadow the match. Too bad the title wasn’t on the line like it should have been *sigh*

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      If the title had been on the line, putting this in the main event, this could have been easily the best match of TNA this year. Feels like such a missed opportunity now.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Huh, back in my elementary school, we used to have full grown elephants running around the place all the time. Weird. Anyways, the tag match at Slammiversary again was near perfect. Styles’ shooting star press was a great climax to it. Damn great.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I swear what makes many of these matches great is Styles being inhumanely athletic.

  • JacobStachowiak

    The Lockdown match is definitely better after the second viewing and knowing that it was Storm who was gonna be crowned but it was all taken away from him. Hell I wrote an article about it………….an article that should have won that competition too….

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Definitely should have won.

      • JacobStachowiak

        Stupid Charlie……big stupid head….and stupid Waring getting his imaginary buddies to vote for him and Charlie by extension….stupid, stupid…

  • JacobStachowiak

    Styles vs. Angle at Sacrifice was fan fucking tastic wrestling, it was beautiful to me. Could have been better, of course, if it had a decent story like you said.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Yeah, Angle/Styles was just great wrestling. Not surprised with those two but definitely went all out even though it wasn’t as good as some of their encounters.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Aries vs. Ray Part 1 was fucking great………..about ten billion times better than part 2 *shutters*

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Let’s just forget about part 2 and just pretend there was only one…

  • JacobStachowiak

    The ending to the Hardcore Justice ladder match made me mark the fuck out. It was so god damn great. Loved that match.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Crazy cool ending for sure. Some of the things Styles can do are just unreal.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Fuck that BFG mainevent with a fucking 10 foot pole, UGH

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Haha, I know how you feel on that. I didn’t want to put in on here, but…

  • JacobStachowiak

    The fact that my boy Jinder Mahal (only got to say that until the Rumble) is on this list is astonishing.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I think it shocked a lot of people that Mahal had a great match like that. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you got Jinder again this year haha.

      • SiD

        Jinder Mahal is amazing and you know it.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Styles/Daniels at Final Resolution was damn good and the booking was solid….to continue the feud, definitely not to end it like you said. Wouldn’t be suprised if they end up facing each other later in the year………..in a perfect world for the heavyweight title.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      If Christopher Daniels wins the World Title, AJ Styles better challenge him for it at least once.

  • JacobStachowiak

    The Styles/Storm/Roode triple threat was good, Styles did great in it and the booking was PERFECT. I mean they fucked it up the week after but it was perfect.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      If the match has lead to a Storm title win… what could have been….

  • JacobStachowiak

    Glad you put Van Dam vs. Roode on there. It was surprisingly good for what we all thought it was gonna be. Van Dam did the job and it was satisfactory.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I almost tried not to haha, but the match deserved some recognition.

  • JacobStachowiak

    Oh fuck you with the Tyson Kidd cop-out..

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Haha, I knew you’d love that…

  • http://twitter.com/InnerTube_Sean Magic Sean

    Good job. Since I’m lazy, I’ll take a look at the top 10 only.

    10) Agreed. The match itself wasn’t great or even particularly good, but it was just so much fun to watch after a year long build. A lot better the second time around to me.

    9) I loved this match, would have put it higher up.

    8) This slide is messed up for me, so no comment.

    7) I really didn’t love this match as much as everyone else. Would have been in my top 50, but probably not top 10.

    6)Would have been top 5 to me, but that’s just me. Probably #3 overall.

    5)LOVED this match. Agree 100% with its placement.

    4)LOVED this match. Would have put it at #2.

    3) Meh, probably 5th for me.

    2) Surprised by this one. Probably a top 10 for me, but not #2.

    1) Agreed.

    For me, my top 3 is probabley 3- Storm/Roode BFG 2- Daniels/Styles Destination X 1- Taker/HHH WM.

    Excellent job my good sir.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thanks for the breakdown even of the top 10, always like seeing how people felt about the subjects I write about.

  • http://twitter.com/E__RAGE Eric

    Slide 45 is messed up on my screen.

    Anyway, I was surprised to see the TLC match at #2. Like everyone else said, you put a lot of work in this and it shows. Super job man

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Checked the slide. Don’t see any issue. Apparently Sean had similar issues. I’ll shorten the title of the slide as that is probably the problem for you two.

      Thanks, I feel like I’m going to have to mention it repeatedly on each comment, but, on first watch, the TLC match stuck with me more than any other match. On second watch, I actually tempered my initial feelings and still left feeling it was only beaten by Taker/HHH.

  • http://twitter.com/TheFrenchWE Mathieu Nicod

    Awesome article, I can’t imagine how much time and work you invested in it.

    It was really a great year for wrestling, let’s hope 2013 is even better!

    Again, great job Kevin, I’m really impressed!

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thank you, Mathieu. It was definitely a challenge, something I have been working on all year. Feel really good about the finished product, glad others liked it.

  • SiD

    I can see you worked very hard for this, and you did a great job. But Rock/Cena at Number 10? That makes me sad… :(

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thanks; sorry about Rock/Cena, I know you love the match haha.

      • SiD

        haha…this article must’ve been a bitch to write…

  • https://twitter.com/DragonSagaWE Jason “Dragon Saga” Patrick

    Don’t mean to nitpick cause it’s all subjective opinion anyway, but the Smackdown MITB match was much better than the Raw one. And Sheamus/Show HIAC should be ranked higher in the list and Shield vs. Ryback/Hell No in #2? Not even Powerslam magazine ranked it that high and they love that type of shit. They ranked it in at number eleven and their top 100 featured several indy promotions. Again it’s all subjective anyway.

    Really good article. I can see you put a ton of effort into it so great stuff.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I felt on every watching that the Raw one was better and less of a mess than the SD one. I enjoyed Sheamus/Show, but it is mostly elevated by its last 5 minutes. Great match but can’t put it any higher. I know everyone is a bit surprised about my ranking on TLC, but my original though had it higher than Taker/HHH even as I just enjoyed it most. On second watching, I still find no match more engrossing though Taker/HHH was more emotional and had more importance.

  • Shayan

    Great List!

    Sheamus vs. Randy Orton in smackdown befor OTL was also great match .

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thank you! Sheamus/Orton was in my original list early on this year. Enjoyable match for sure.